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Peak Oil - Implications for Infrastructure Planning

  • 13-11-2009 7:11pm
    #1
    Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    Seeing as this forum is infested with Road Heads I feel it is time to start thread on the implications of peak oil .

    Peak Oil means a number of things. A selection off the top of my head.

    1. Petrol gets dearer ...whether the bloody greens keep slapping 8c a litre on the taxes every year or not.
    2. It is more desirable that we have a motorway network than not if oil is short because electric vehicles are very inefficient in charging and storage and you will want to run the thing optimally , not stop and start as you crawl through Abbeyleix or Longford. Furthermore....very few will do over 200 miles on a charge meaning that it will be impossible to go from Galway - Dublin AND BACK in a day because it will take hours to recharge for the return trip :(
    3. Irish Oil becomes economical to exploit sooner rather than later . There is oil out there but nobody is interested unless the price per barrel goes to $100= and stays there . We should amend our exploration licences accordingly .
    4. Irish Oil is off the west coast, energy and transportation and refining infrastructure must be built to optimally extract and value add to it ...in the West . Nimbys are to be expected.
    5. Nuclear is an even less worse option than it already was ...and there may even be some uranium to mine here too around Carlow and Connemara and Donegal :p

    Of course I left stuff out . You lot add them .

    There have also been some recent developments around the prediction of peak oil and reservoir depletion . If true they are quite profound and more immediate than I thought . Both these reports were published this week .

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/nov/09/peak-oil-international-energy-agency
    The world is much closer to running out of oil than official estimates admit, according to a whistleblower at the International Energy Agency who claims it has been deliberately underplaying a looming shortage for fear of triggering panic buying.


    The senior official claims the US has played an influential role in encouraging the watchdog to underplay the rate of decline from existing oil fields while overplaying the chances of finding new reserves.


    The allegations raise serious questions about the accuracy of the organisation's latest World Energy Outlook on oil demand and supply to be published tomorrow – which is used by the British and many other governments to help guide their wider energy and climate change policies.

    and

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2009/nov/12/oil-shortage-uppsala-aleklett
    A leading academic institute has urged European governments to review global oil supplies for themselves because of the "politicisation" of the International Energy Agency's figures.


    Uppsala University in Sweden today published a scathing assessment of the IEA's annual World Energy Outlook, saying some assumptions drastically underplayed the scale of future oil shortages.


    Kjell Aleklett, professor of physics at Uppsala and co-author of a new report "The Peak of the Oil Age", claims oil production is more likely to be 75m barrels a day by 2030 than the "unrealistic" 105m used by the IEA in its recently published World Energy Outlook 2009. The academic, who runs a Global Energy unit at Uppsala, described the IEA's report as a "political document" developed for consuming countries with a vested interest in low prices.

    You may also wish to indulge in a spot of Al Ghawar watching and keep up with the myriad energy articles that appear on the excellent Oil Drum website :)

    God Bless Google Earth ...see

    http://www.theoildrum.com/node/5432


Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,082 Chris_533976


    Something will have to replace oil in cars, its as simple as that. Unfortunately electric cars still can have their power source traced back to fossil fuels burning in power plants.

    I've heard that the car companies arent really that bothered about electric cars because hydrogen fuel cell cars are far better so they're pushing that.

    All that said, if commerical Fusion power is cracked there will be no more power issues anyway and electric cars will take over easily.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 61,043 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011


    Hydrogen fuel cell cars are "electric cars", so there are still gains to be made by refining / getting more efficient driving motor technology and similar in 'traditional' electric cars.

    Anyway, I'm just expecting to see something grown - grain alcohol, algae, plant oils, whatever - and used in very similar style engines as petrol/diesel are now. The oil firms are going to want something they can sell in much the same manner as petrol/diesel, thats for sure.


  • Registered Users Posts: 259 ✭✭ csd


    This book makes for interesting (if alarming) reading.

    Although titled as a "survival guide to the imminent extinction of petrolem man", it doesn't really have much in the way of survival options. Rather, it goes into the detail of why none of the alternatives to oil as they stand now (or in the near future) has a hope of replacing oil on anything like the scale that's needed.

    Will we be thrown back to the living standards of the 40s and 50s, where a holiday for my father was a week in Kinnegad, and even the thought of a fortnight in the sun in Spain was something only the richest could countenance?

    /csd


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    I would think that the Ryanair model will be impacted proportionately more than the long haul model. More fuel used per bum on seat.

    Baggage allowances will probably be zeroed and there will be a Penneys and Lidl in every airport with ' cheap essentials' packs :D

    Fat people will be weighed and surcharged handsomely so only thin people will be able to afford to fly :D People will diet so they can afford a holiday . Sunlovers will check their partners weight before they shack up together . A generation of thin tanned people will compete for resources with pale fat people .

    The internet can certainly help deal with distance issues , eg Skyping the mammy from Australia is very much the norm nowadays.

    However the pathetic attempts that we have made at internet rollout in Ireland, hampered by a near bankrupt eircom , will leave us in the shade compared to advanced economies .

    Our planning laws and procedures are ill equipped to deal with this broadband infrastructure deficit . Your average planner puts in waffle about broadband into their development plans but refuses to do anything concrete .


  • Registered Users Posts: 259 ✭✭ csd


    Sponge Bob,

    I think it's more fundamental than just charging fat people a few bob extra for their plane tickets! Airlines may do that, but if it's €7,000 for a skinny person or €9,000 for a fat person to fly to Spain it's not going to make much of a difference either way, since none but the very rich will be able to afford it.

    The problem is that oil underpins everything in our economy. If the price of oil increases dramatically, everything else will follow, and disposable income as we know it today will vanish. Broadband is all well and good, but if you can only afford to turn the electricity on for a few hours a day it's only going to be so useful.

    We'd better hope some technological deus ex machina arrives to save us or we'll all have to get used to 1940s living standards. Strahan's book doesn't hold out much hope for technology being able to save us in the short to medium term, but hopefully something will come of the billions of VC cash currently being thrown at alternative energy research. If not, we might just be living at the peak of human civilisation and it's all downhill from here!

    As for infrastructure planning, maybe it's time to get the railway network expanded. We're going to need it a lot more if no one can afford to run a car anymore!

    /csd


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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    He is another survivalist nut with a book to sell :(.

    At around $100 a barrel for oil we also start to get into coal liquification and Coal to Oil do please read it is 1940s Nazi Era Technology in essence instead of pure oil. Life goes on !

    This allows reservation of 'pure oil' for avgas ( it is kerosene) . We are not running out of oil , we are running out of cheap oil not carbon per se .


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    Forgot to mention

    We have been looking at Peak Problems since 1865 . Each Peak or potential leads to a search for alternatives .

    See . http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Coal_Question

    You may read it here . Let me quote an extract from the Peak Problem of 1865
    As regards the supremacy of coal as a source of heat and power, and the impossibility of finding a substitute, I have again only interpreted the opinions of Professor Tyndall. He has kindly allowed me to extract the following from a recent letter with which he favoured me:—
    "I see no prospect of any substitute being found for coal, as a source of motive power. We have, it is true, our winds and streams and tides; and we have the beams of the sun. But these are common to all the world. We cannot make head against a nation which, in addition to those sources of power, possesses the power of coal. We may enjoy a multiple of their physical and intellectual energy, and still be unable to hold our own against a people which possesses abundance of coal; and we should have, in my opinion, no chance whatever in a race with a nation which, in addition to abundant coal, has energy and intelligence approximately equal to our own.


    "It is no new thing for me to affirm in my public lectures that the destiny of this nation is not in the hands of its statesmen but in those of its coal-owners; and that while the orators of St. Stephen's are unconscious of the fact, the very lifeblood of this country is flowing away."


    And in the following passage Professor Tyndall has lately summed up the sources of power:—

    "Wherever two atoms capable of uniting together by their mutual attractions exist separately, they form a store of potential energy. Thus our woods, forests, and coal-fields on the one hand, and our atmospheric oxygen on the other, constitute a vast store of energy of this kind—vast, but far from infinite. We have, besides our coal-fields, bodies in the metallic condition more or less sparsely distributed in the earth's crust. These bodies can be oxydised, and hence are, so far as they go, stores of potential energy. But the attractions of the great mass of the earth's crust are already satisfied, and from them no further energy can possibly be obtained.

    And we survived those dismal prospects with Oil and Nuclear , one shortly after the prediction was made one much later .

    Coal Production in Britain actually peaked 50 years later .


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,376 ✭✭✭ ei.sdraob


    meh

    when theres a need theres a way

    if oil gets to expensive alternatives would spring up as we have seen


  • Registered Users Posts: 259 ✭✭ csd


    I haven't the energy to write a full argument on this, but I remain to be convinced that there's a solution that will transition the world economy off oil smoothly as production starts to fall.

    All the alternatives will take years (or even decades) to ramp up to match the 80+ million barrels of oil per day we're currently consuming, and national reserves tend to be measured in months. If peak oil is indeed in and around now, we're in for a bumpy ride when demand starts to pick up as the global recession ends.

    I'm sure the technology is out there somewhere, but I'm not so sure it'll come in time to save us from peak oil cold turkey without completely blowing CO2 reduction targets (that means you, CTL!).

    This is an interesting graph.

    /csd


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,549 Judgement Day


    Regardless of what fuels them cars use a vast amount of oil products - even in their production - the energy to produce the steel used to make them, the myriad of plastic used in the vehicle all petroleum based, the various lubricating oils, and tyres (?). Other factors such as the amount of fuel and lubricants consumed during the lifespan of a vehicle, the energy consumed in its ultimate recycling, the pollution emitted during its use etc.etc also need consideration. Basically our present lifestyle on the planet is unsustainable and needs a radical rethink.


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  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 20,995 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    csd wrote: »
    The problem is that oil underpins everything in our economy. If the price of oil increases dramatically, everything else will follow, and disposable income as we know it today will vanish. Broadband is all well and good, but if you can only afford to turn the electricity on for a few hours a day it's only going to be so useful.

    Now that is just bull and scaremongering. The majority of our electrical power comes from coal and there is no issue with us having enough coal and there is always Nuclear.

    Peak oil really only effects cars and planes. Cars would just need to switch over to electric, planes are a more difficult problem.

    BTW there is enough spare electricity generated in the US every night, to power 85% of all cars in the US.
    Regardless of what fuels them cars use a vast amount of oil products - even in their production - the energy to produce the steel used to make them, the myriad of plastic used in the vehicle all petroleum based, the various lubricating oils, and tyres (?). Other factors such as the amount of fuel and lubricants consumed during the lifespan of a vehicle, the energy consumed in its ultimate recycling, the pollution emitted during its use etc.etc also need consideration. Basically our present lifestyle on the planet is unsustainable and needs a radical rethink.

    True, but it only makes up a fraction of that used by cars. And peak oil isn't about us running out of oil, it is about us reaching the point of maximum oil production where we can't produce greater amounts. Under that situation, oil becomes too expensive to continue to use cheaply in cars, but can still be used for all those other things you mention.

    Sometimes I think some tree huggers welcome such a situation, which would probably lead to the deaths of millions, if not billions of people.


  • Registered Users Posts: 259 ✭✭ csd


    bk,

    I think you are missing the point slightly, it's about more than just electricity, but anyway.

    1. Coal only provides 26% of Ireland's electricity needs. 50% is from oil and gas. Coal produces a lot more CO2 per KWh than either oil or gas, so it isn't a panacea for all our energy problems.

    2. The amount of cars that could be powered by electricity is completely irrellevant at present. Today's cars run on petrol or diesel, not electricity. There is a non-trivial changeover time required to replace the world's fleet with electric vehicles. If peak oil is now, then there will be severe price instability for a period of years until the changeover to electric cars takes place.

    3. Oil and gas aren't just used as a fuel. They're also critical in the production of plastics and fertiliser, among other things. Try finding a consumer good that doesn't contain plastic! It is totally untrue to say that peak oil only affects cars.

    4. This has nothing to do with hugging trees. It's about the global economy, which is currently based on oil, and how it will survive if production starts to tail off. If even a slight increase in demand can't be met by production it will lead to dramatic increases in the price of oil. Previous oil price shocks have been followed by large economic slumps, why will the next one be any different? Today's supply chains are global, and are based on cheap transport being available to ship goods from the four corners of the earth. Disruption is inevitable while things readjust to a new equillibrium.

    The whole thing turns on when the point of peak oil actually is. If it isn't going to come for another decade or so, and if the investments currently being made in alternative energy succeed, and if there is the political will to build the alternative infrastructure required, then we'll probably be fine. But that's an awful lot of ifs to be relying on, IMO.

    /csd


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,376 ✭✭✭ ei.sdraob


    csd wrote: »
    1. Coal only provides 26% of Ireland's electricity needs. 50% is from oil and gas. Coal produces a lot more CO2 per KWh than either oil or gas, so it isn't a panacea for all our energy problems.

    that wouldnt be a problem if the green hippies were more pragmatic and accepted nuclear power (btw i worked in power generation here in Ireland)

    csd wrote: »
    2. The amount of cars that could be powered by electricity is completely irrellevant at present. Today's cars run on petrol or diesel, not electricity. There is a non-trivial changeover time required to replace the world's fleet with electric vehicles. If peak oil is now, then there will be severe price instability for a period of years until the changeover to electric cars takes place.

    once again instability presents opportunities for business and new technologies, as has happened when oil hit 150$ a barrel due to speculation last year, lets not forget coal/gas to oil technologies and oil shales


    csd wrote: »
    3. Oil and gas aren't just used as a fuel. They're also critical in the production of plastics and fertiliser, among other things. Try finding a consumer good that doesn't contain plastic! It is totally untrue to say that peak oil only affects cars.
    theres plenty of gas for plastics/chem industry and that wont run out any time this century


    csd wrote: »
    4. This has nothing to do with hugging trees. It's about the global economy, which is currently based on oil, and how it will survive if production starts to tail off. If even a slight increase in demand can't be met by production it will lead to dramatic increases in the price of oil. Previous oil price shocks have been followed by large economic slumps, why will the next one be any different? Today's supply chains are global, and are based on cheap transport being available to ship goods from the four corners of the earth. Disruption is inevitable while things readjust to a new equillibrium.

    the high cost of oil was due to speculation not supply problems, now once again commodities are being speculated on, theres too much money sloshing around chasing things

    btw the world economy was tied to coal before and managed to switch quite well

    it can be done again

    in a world where each atom contains a huge amount of energy (e=mc2) we dont have to worry about running out of energy, once again when theres a need theres a way, if oil becomes to expensive demand drops and alternatives spring up quickly, we seen that happen in 2008


  • Registered Users Posts: 259 ✭✭ csd


    ei.sdraob wrote: »
    that wouldnt be a problem if the green hippies were more pragmatic and accepted nuclear power (btw i worked in power generation here in Ireland)

    Sorry, but that smacks of argument by wishful thinking! The issue still stands, for a number of reasons. Even if you can sweep away the legitimate safety concerns that a large proportion of the population has regarding nuclear power, you still need to build a nuclear power station from scratch. We don't have the expertise to do this, we'd have to bring it into the country and we'd be starting from the back of an increasingly lengthening queue. It would take a decade at least to get a nuclear power station up and running, probably longer. When is peak oil? That will determine how long we have.
    once again instability presents opportunities for business and new technologies, as has happened when oil hit 150$ a barrel due to speculation last year, lets not forget coal/gas to oil technologies and oil shales

    I haven't forgotten about them, there are problems with these as well. The first is environmental, in that existing CTL/GTL processes are very CO2-intensive. This may be solved by technology, but that brings us to the second problem: we're starting from scratch with these technologies, can they be ramped up to the millions of barrels a day scale?
    btw the world economy was tied to coal before and managed to switch quite well

    it can be done again

    I'm not disagreeing that it can be done, I'm questioning the ease at which it will be done. Comparisons with coal aren't so valid here, because billions of people weren't driving around in coal-powered cars that suddenly needed replacing with some other technology. Even if they were directly comparible, society is a lot different to when the coal-to-oil transition occurred; standards of living (in the western world at least) are much higher, and so have further to fall as a result of disruption.
    in a world where each atom contains a huge amount of energy (e=mc2) we dont have to worry about running out of energy, once again when theres a need theres a way, if oil becomes to expensive demand drops and alternatives spring up quickly, we seen that happen in 2008

    What exactly did happen in 2008? As far as I can see, we're still as dependent on oil as ever! Are we even any closer to a wide consensus as to what will replace the petrol/diesel car? Will it be hydrogen fuel cell, fast-charging batteries, or something else? Then we can start building the infrastructure to support this, but it will take years! So it's back to the million-dollar question: how long have we got?

    /csd


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,376 ✭✭✭ ei.sdraob


    csd wrote: »
    Sorry, but that smacks of argument by wishful thinking! The issue still stands, for a number of reasons. Even if you can sweep away the legitimate safety concerns that a large proportion of the population has regarding nuclear power, you still need to build a nuclear power station from scratch. We don't have the expertise to do this, we'd have to bring it into the country and we'd be starting from the back of an increasingly lengthening queue. It would take a decade at least to get a nuclear power station up and running, probably longer. When is peak oil? That will determine how long we have.

    we have plenty of time and expertize is here (my relative was engineer on a nuclear plant btw) that you are not aware of, UK is not too far away either

    peak oil is moot since you can convert coal and gas to oil, and theres few Saudi Arabia's worth of oil shale that become viable at over 30$ a barrel


    csd wrote: »
    I haven't forgotten about them, there are problems with these as well. The first is environmental, in that existing CTL/GTL processes are very CO2-intensive. This may be solved by technology, but that brings us to the second problem: we're starting from scratch with these technologies, can they be ramped up to the millions of barrels a day scale?

    go open a history book, the Nazis invaded most of europe on oil derived from coal to oil technology that was over 70 years ago

    the technology exists and is being used (South Africa)

    once again if more electricity switches to nucler more fuels remains to be used in cars and chemicals





    csd wrote: »
    I'm not disagreeing that it can be done, I'm questioning the ease at which it will be done. Comparisons with coal aren't so valid here, because billions of people weren't driving around in coal-powered cars that suddenly needed replacing with some other technology. Even if they were directly comparible, society is a lot different to when the coal-to-oil transition occurred; standards of living (in the western world at least) are much higher, and so have further to fall as a result of disruption.

    actually first cars were electric, if theres will the fleet can be converted to electric or hydrogen in decade or less

    there will be 3 million cars on irish roads in 2020
    90000000000 (NAMA) / 3000000 (cars) = €30,000 per electric car
    think about it...

    csd wrote: »

    What exactly did happen in 2008? As far as I can see, we're still as dependent on oil as ever! Are we even any closer to a wide consensus as to what will replace the petrol/diesel car? Will it be hydrogen fuel cell, fast-charging batteries, or something else? Then we can start building the infrastructure to support this, but it will take years! So it's back to the million-dollar question: how long have we got?

    /csd

    oil went from its real 150$ a barrel due to speculation down to its real cost of 30$

    at its peak price alot of technologies and companies sprung up with alternate ideas and businesses opportunities


    once again, if oil stars going up due to real demand (not speculation where a barell is traded 28 times before reaching petrol station) then new technologies will fill the void


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,376 ✭✭✭ ei.sdraob


    woot i Goodwinized the thread :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 259 ✭✭ csd


    ei.sdraob wrote: »
    woot i Goodwinized the thread :D

    Almost, but thankfully no one's actually been called a Nazi yet! :)
    we have plenty of time and expertize is here (my relative was engineer on a nuclear plant btw) that you are not aware of, UK is not too far away either

    Very good, then ask your relative how long it takes to build a nuclear power plant from scratch. I found this article quite interesting.
    go open a history book, the Nazis invaded most of europe on oil derived from coal to oil technology that was over 70 years ago

    As I've said on several occasions, I'm aware of GTL/CTL -- have you read my post? The question is how to do it without completely blowing CO2 targets. Or do we have to choose between prosperity and the environment? (That was meant to be ironic, btw!)

    Anyway, if it's so easy to do, then why aren't the US and China doing it? They've loads of coal, but have to import most of their oil. There's two reasons I can think of (apart from environmental)

    1. It's technically difficult to do, which means it's expensive, and expensive oil is just the sort of disruptive effect I'm arguing will happen, or

    2. the governments don't want to do it for political reasons <insert conspiracy theory here>.
    actually first cars were electric, if theres will the fleet can be converted to electric or hydrogen in decade or less

    I think you're falling into the trap that many technicinal people do, in assuming that just because something is technically possible means it will happen. The nuclear power for Ireland argument is another manifestation of this. There are whole other considerations of economic, political, and sociological matters that come into play when we're discussing matters of this scale. Maybe, once the decision is made, the conversion will take a decade or less. My point is that we're not at the point where the decision has been made, and everyone's out trying to push their individual agenda.
    oil went from its real 150$ a barrel due to speculation down to its real cost of 30$

    Oil is currently trading at just under $80 a barrel -- even allowing for the depreciation in the US dollar, it's a long way off $30. This is in the middle of the biggest depression in living memory, where demand for oil has actually fallen year-on-year. Even when you disregard the madness of last year, the trend is still up, and expensive oil leads to economic turbulence.

    To summarise my argument:

    1. Oil production will start to fall (peak oil), leading to increases in price
    2. High oil prices stifle economic growth, ultimately leading to a reduction in living standards
    3. There are many promising technologies which will probably eventually plug the gap left by oil
    4. The new technologies will reduce the demand for oil, thus making it cheaper once more, reducing the cost of those things that still depend on it (eg air transprot)
    5. However, there will be an inevitable gap in timing between (3) and (4), as it takes significant time for new technologies to be rolled out on a global scale
    6. During this gap we will be left with (2), possibly worsened due to wars fought over the remaining oil.

    /csd


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 20,995 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    A few points csd, you were scaremongering that we would run out of electricity or need to ration it. That is simply untrue as oil is not used in any Irish power plant, mostly coal, gas and peat are used.

    Yes I'm well aware that these are very bad for the environment, but the point is peak oil will have no effect on our ability to generate power, it will only effect transport.

    Nuclear power plants take a long time to build because of nimbyism and politics. If we needed it urgently, if in the morning electricity bills doubled, you can bet people would forget about their nimbyism and a nuke plant would be built quickly.

    The reality is people simply won't accept a reduction in their living standards. People aren't going to want to give up their 50" plasma and heating, etc.

    As for cars, as the price of oil raises, it will drive companies to develop and mass produce alternatives. Yes there will be a transition period when people will need to pay more for their transport needs, but it would be a doomsday scenario that you make it out to be.

    BTW Israel plans to have converted 100% of alls it cars to electric in just 10 years, just goes to show what you can do when you have the political will.


  • Registered Users Posts: 259 ✭✭ csd


    bk wrote: »
    A few points csd, you were scaremongering that we would run out of electricity or need to ration it. That is simply untrue as oil is not used in any Irish power plant, mostly coal, gas and peat are used.

    Yes I'm well aware that these are very bad for the environment, but the point is peak oil will have no effect on our ability to generate power, it will only effect transport.

    According to here, 9% of power generated by the ESB in 2007 used oil, so while small, it's still used. Poolbeg can run on gas or oil But ok, fair enough, it's a relatively small percentage (same as renewables!). However, 41% of Irish power is generated using natural gas. If the price of oil rockets, gas, as one of the main alternatives, can't be far behind.
    Nuclear power plants take a long time to build because of nimbyism and politics. If we needed it urgently, if in the morning electricity bills doubled, you can bet people would forget about their nimbyism and a nuke plant would be built quickly.

    The reality is people simply won't accept a reduction in their living standards. People aren't going to want to give up their 50" plasma and heating, etc.

    Probably true, but it means people are going to have to grow up and face reality. The government needs to have a plan in its back pocket to cover for this eventuality.
    As for cars, as the price of oil raises, it will drive companies to develop and mass produce alternatives. Yes there will be a transition period when people will need to pay more for their transport needs, but it would be a doomsday scenario that you make it out to be.

    People will need to get used to paying more for everything, as transport is an underlying cost in every product sold on the market. I presume you meant to say "it won't be a doomsday scenario". Well we'll see when things start picking up after the global recession.
    BTW Israel plans to have converted 100% of alls it cars to electric in just 10 years, just goes to show what you can do when you have the political will.

    Well they're just plans at present. A good start, but just plans. Maybe experience of Ireland has tainted my outlook, but I'm sceptical when it comes to large-scale infrastructure rollouts such as this: they always seem to take longer than planned!

    /csd


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,110 KevR


    I was thinking the other day about Pumped Storage (Spirit of Ireland) and Hydrogen fuel cell cars.

    I know one of the negatives about Hydrogen is that it takes a lot of energy to produce Hydrogen. Instead of Pumped Storage, could they not use surpluss electricity to produce Hydrogen? And have a Hydrogen Power Station which could then use this Hydrogen to generate electricity at peak times?

    Spirit of Ireland propose to set up huge wind farms which will put electricity into the grid and use any extra electricity off-peak for pumping water up into a resevoir. This water could be released from the resevoir (Hydro-electricity) to provide electricity at peak times.
    Instead could you have the huge wind farms producing shitloads of Hydrogen either for cars or for a Hydrogen Power Plant?

    It popped into my head that if you can use Hydrogen to power an electric motor in a car, you could use it on a much more massive scale (in a power plant). Have I just solved the world's energy crisis or was my day-dream a load of bollox?! :D


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,376 ✭✭✭ ei.sdraob


    KevR wrote: »
    I was thinking the other day about Pumped Storage (Spirit of Ireland) and Hydrogen fuel cell cars.

    I know one of the negatives about Hydrogen is that it takes a lot of energy to produce Hydrogen. Instead of Pumped Storage, could they not use surpluss electricity to produce Hydrogen? And have a Hydrogen Power Station which could then use this Hydrogen to generate electricity at peak times?

    Spirit of Ireland propose to set up huge wind farms which will put electricity into the grid and use any extra electricity off-peak for pumping water up into a resevoir. This water could be released from the resevoir (Hydro-electricity) to provide electricity at peak times.
    Instead could you have the huge wind farms producing shitloads of Hydrogen either for cars or for a Hydrogen Power Plant?

    It popped into my head that if you can use Hydrogen to power an electric motor in a car, you could use it on a much more massive scale (in a power plant). Have I just solved the world's energy crisis or was my day-dream a load of bollox?! :D


    good idea ;),i t really doesnt take much to make hydrogen, you pass a current thru water and collect the H and O2, pure oxygen is also useful as well

    but remember hydrogen is dangerous to handle and transport cause it easily goes boom

    i learned that in chemistry :D

    @csd
    itll take a decade to build a nuclear plant (could be done alot faster if theres a will like is happening in China), which is not much longer than it takes to build a large coal plants, most of the work is grid based which wouldnt be a problem if you place it in right location


    look I agree that cheap oil is running out, but it will not be the end of the world, theres enough uranium and thorium to power the whole world for thousands of years without emitting CO2, and alot of the fuel can be recycled over and over

    hey maybe theyll finally figure out fusion by then :D


    i would much rather see a nuclear plant than plants that are burning coal, oil, gas and worst of all peat, the amounts of **** that gets dumped into atmosphere is not good

    and once again wind will not solve all of our problems


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 99 ✭✭✭ PYRO#1


    Security of supply is as big an issue as peak oil.
    All our oil and coal is imported and a fair amount of our gas too
    We are going to phase out oil for electricity generation anyway, but we need to look at gas and coal


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